Sunday 24 November 2019

You can’t win. Here’s why.

Putting the words “Here’s why” in a title is usually click-bait.  People instinctively want to know ‘why’ something. Human curiosity plus the potential bonus of learning something new, and I’m trying to learn something new myself as I go - “if that makes sense” - a phrase one often hears these days, at a time when nothing makes much sense to me.

If you look at Craig’s post a couple of doors down, you’ll see a series of tweets about BBC bias. Peter Oborne’s ludicrous theory is that the BBC edited the audience’s jeering at Boris to minimise it  - because - wait for it - the BBC shills for the Tories. 

To back this up, he cites a thread with the emotive title “Tory Fibs”. Click on it if you want to see a further avalanche of allegations that the BBC is the mouthpiece of the government,  and dishonest to boot.

On behalf of the BBC, Rob Burley is right. He / they / “we” can’t win. 

Well, let me take that back. In one sense he can win - in the battle of the Beeb’s ploy that ‘complaints from both sides’ definitively proves “we must be getting it about right”. When the BBC says it gets complaints from both sides it’s obviously telling the truth. However, this binary factoid alone (if it is really a fact) doesn’t amount to proof that “we must be getting it right. 

(Here's why) Because it depends on the premise from which you start. It hinges on your median. If your median’s out of kilter, so’s everything else.

For example, if your starting point is your own inviolable certainty that the BBC is indeed “getting things right”, then the “complaints from both sides” argument might have reasonable validity. But, on the other hand, if the BBC sees everything through a left-wing prism, which the general consensus is that it clearly does, then no. It’s false. All wrong.

Take Peter Oborne for a start. The BBC sees him as a credible pundit and opinion provider. They have him on programmes like The Week in Westminster, where his booming voice screams “authority.”  But he’s a raging antisemite, an Islamophile and conspiracy theorist.  His hatred for Israel is at the level of  ‘unhinged’. 

Sorry, but when Peter Oborne emotes right-wing conspiracy theory, it is truly bizarre. Search “Tory Fibs”, on Twitter, not only to see all those allegations that the BBC tampered with Boris’s jeering but also for a ‘pile-on’ avalanche of allegations that the man who confronted Jeremy Corbyn with the Ruth Smeeth  / Marc Wadsworth affair was a plant and a serial Q.T. agitator. 

The Twitter mob took an obscenely obvious level of comfort from the fact that they had exposed this man for appearing on Q.T. before in order to ‘smear’ magic grandpa, and although the specific incident he cited took place (if I remember correctly) at the launch of Shami Chakrabarti’s autobiographical, quid pro quo account of the non-existent antisemitism problem in the Labour Party, this event occurred some time ago and there are several more recent incidents he could have cited, this was nevertheless a valid criticism and not a mere smear. 

Next, the BBC is using an ex BBC “Beeboid” called Tom Barton to opine about various election-related matters.  On the ill-fated debate he was of the opinion that “the Audience Won”. Seeing that the audience was stuffed with an increasingly apparent number of left-wing activists, the reality of the audience’s triumph was a matter of opinion. 


Back to the matter of “you can’t win”. You can’t win when your starting point is way off the median.
Sunday morning’s output has a religious bent, which is fine. Whatever floats your boat. But I’m bound to ask, is this country (Britain) no longer considered to be a Christian country? 

I only ask because I think it’s now an Islamo-Christian country. Like Judaeo-Christian, but with Islam instead of Judaeo. Something I heard on the Sunday Programme, Radio 4 this morning tells me this is so. 

The religious programme on BBC One trailed an upcoming item about the full-face veil. 
“What do you think it will say?” asked someone chez Sue. “It will be from the premise that critics of the niqab are racist” I suggested. And so it came to pass.

A walkabout experiment (the equivalent of the infamous kippah experiment) was proposed. A letterbox outfit was duly donned, the premise being that normalising this outlandish uniform was by default “good”.  At no time was this questioned. 

The public, several of whom were already wearing headscarves, barely flinched, apart from one or two people who chose not to respond when approached on the pretext of asking for directions to the station. At least they didn’t say they were pleased she was getting the train to somewhere else. 

When the premise is skewed, you can’t win. The starting point is clear, but where oh where is the finish?


  1. I agree. Here's why :)

    Mr Tory Fibs is one of a number of incessant far-left BBC bashers on Twitter. Clicking into such people's feeds is like disappearing down a rabbit hole into a very dark Wonderland where six impossible things are believed before breakfast, and six more after breakfast. And yet it's their almost always false accusations of BBC bias that the BBC replies too more often and most quickly. Given that such 'viral' accusations are so easy to debunk for the BBC (because they're either wrong or crazy), it's no wonder that BBC types - including R Rob - engage with them. It's must feel like shooting pirahnas in a barrel for them. Or low-hanging fruit (albeit very annoying low-hanging fruit).

    And that's why we keep on calling out the false equivalence
    implied in the 'complaints from both sides' argument - and you've coached it beautifully there, Sue.

    Peter Oborne has been on a journey. He should go on 'I'm a Celebrity'. After turning full circle on Brexit, he's arrived at Port Corbyn. Yes, wonder what it was that first attacted him to the antisemitic, Islamophilic Labour Party?

    1. Aw, thank you kind sir. It’s always nice when we agree ; -)

    2. Isn't it just, dear lady!

  2. I haven't followed his Brexit circle but I did notice that he was a staunch defender and supporter of Theresa May. Don't know whether that pre-dates the referendum or what is the full story but perhaps it is somehow connected to a dislike of Boris Johnson and the current Conservative government.

  3. There never has been an Islamo-Christian country and I doubt there ever will be one...there is only a country transitioning from Christianity to Islam. This is almost always an irreversible process - Spain is the only example I can think of where the process was fully reversed.

  4. Oborne has written a lot of good thoughtful stuff over the years but seems to have gone doolally recently. Boris derangement syndrome? On the niqab I recall that no less a person than Jasmin Alibi-Brown expressing the view that it was a symbol of female oppression which is I would have thought a more serious criticism than the observation that it looks like a letterbox. Needless to say this didn’t stop Jasmin from lambasting Boris for his remark. I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with both their criticisms which must be some sort of record.

  5. Imagine the reaction if a fundamentalist branch of Christianity insisted that its female adherents could only ever be seen in public entirely masked, with only a slit for the eyes.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.